Alaska SeaLife Center Admits Third Rescued Sea Otter of 2023
November 10, 2023

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) admitted a male northern sea otter pup to the Wildlife Response Program on October 31, 2023, the third pup rescued this year. The approximately three-week-old pup arrived late Halloween night after a long transport from the remote coastal town of Seldovia, AK, and is currently under 24-hour care by wildlife response staff.

The pup was first spotted swimming near the docks and vocalizing in distress, its mother nowhere in sight. Although Northern sea otter mothers will leave their pup’s side for short intervals to hunt and forage, concerned onlookers noted that the pup was still alone after nearly two hours and contacted the ASLC via its 24-hour stranding hotline (888-774-7325). 


While on the phone with wildlife response staff, onlookers noticed an adult sea otter approaching the pup in an aggressive manner. It was determined that this was likely a territorial male, raising additional concerns for the pup’s safety. With approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the pup was picked up to be transported to the ASLC for rehabilitation. Though the pup’s mother was never spotted, a deceased female adult sea otter was found in the area shortly before its rescue, offering a potential explanation for the pup’s abandonment.

The main concerns found by the ASLC veterinary team upon the initial admit exam were dehydration, malnourishment, and lacerations on the pup’s muzzle, likely sustained during its struggle with the aggressive adult. The team is currently providing stabilizing treatments and examining the patient further to understand the severity of his condition.

Sea otter pups require 24/7 care, which will continue for the first six months of the pup’s life. During this critical period, pups rely entirely on their mothers for grooming and nutrition, needs that will instead be monitored and provided for by staff. 


The Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program can only provide care for stranded and injured marine animals with help from corporate sponsors and individual donors. People are encouraged to contribute to the care of rehabilitating marine animals here: The Center acknowledges the ongoing generous support of the Wildlife Response Program from supporters like ConocoPhillips Alaska, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PetZoo, Partners 4 Wildlife, Matson, GCI, and a number of individual donors, funds, and foundations such as the Stanley J Williams Fund, Mesara Family Foundation, and the NC Giving Fund.

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